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Astor took drama lessons and appeared in various amateur stage productions.
The following year, she sent another photograph to Motion Picture Magazine, this time becoming a finalist and then runner-up in the national contest.
After she appeared in several more movies, John Barrymore saw her photograph in a magazine and wanted her cast in his upcoming movie.
On loan-out to Warner Bros., she starred with him in Beau Brummel (1924).
Astor continued to appear in movies at various studios.
Overcoming these stumbling blocks in her private life, Astor went on to greater success on screen, eventually winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in The Great Lie (1941). Astor was home-schooled in academics and was taught to play the piano by her father, who insisted she practice daily.
She appeared in a play with friend Florence Eldridge, and the film offers came in, so she was able to resume her career in talking films.